Replace a Sink Trap
Learn this simple and professional technique for replacing a sink trap along with tips for proper venting
Sink traps may need replacement for a few different reasons. Because the undersink area is regularly used as storage, the exposed trap assembly is bumped and jostled, and can become damaged. Also, the trap assembly might not have been installed correctly, and its horizontal runs could be insufficiently pitched and not drain well. Finally, the trap could be an outdated configuration, such as an S-trap, which has been eliminated under most code jurisdictions. While some traps can be taken apart and cleaned to restore proper flow, I recommend rebuilding the entire trap assembly.
The two materials most often used for sink plumbing are PVC and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). For the repair featured here, I used ABS because the joints are bonded with one-part glue as opposed to the two-part glue needed for PVC. I use glued joints wherever possible but incorporate threaded unions at the trap and tailpieces for serviceability. For this sink, I added a cleanout below the trap assembly, which is required by code. Then I added the sanitary tee to allow for venting.
Originally, there was no vent to this old S-trap system, which is common for old plumbing. Most codes require the vent to be restored to allow liquid to drain quickly. In this case, I installed an air-admittance valve (AAV). Check with your local building department for any restrictions if you choose to use an AAV.
Watch this technique start to finish on video as Bruce Norman goes step by step through the process in our Build Like a Pro video series. Watch the video…
Connect the tailpieces. Use a 90° bend and a sanitary tee with slip-nut connections to draw the drain water into one tailpiece. The connection arm should slope down by 1/4 in. per ft. If needed, provide a stub for…